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Report: #283600

Complaint Review: Bank Of America - Internet

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Tulare California
  • Bank Of America Nationwide Internet U.S.A.
  • Phone:
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

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I'm a disabled senior citizen attempting to get by on a $733 a month Social Security stipend. I have also been a Bank of America customer for several years now with my SS checks going directly to the bank.

I have used BofA's free online bill paying service for a couple of years or more, with no problems up until now. This time when I payed my power bill to the Southern California Edison Company, somewhere between the time I sat down to make my little $55.84 payment and the time the bank's comp deliverd the money to SCE it had lost a decimal point and the power company actually received $5584.00.

I got an email this morning (11/7) stating that there was a problem with my online bill pay and to check my internal mail account. On the way through the web site to do this I looked at my payment record and saw immediately what had happened.

I fired off an email immediately telling them that someone has dropped a decimal point somewhere and that the actual amount of the payment was $55.84.

A couple of hours later I got another email with the same information. I replied with the same info I had provided earlier and asked them to please not try to debit my account for the spurious amount again.

I then immediately called customer service and after wading through all the robots, I finally got to a human only to be told that there was nothing to be done about it and that they were going to make three attempts to get their money out of my account before they cancelled the payment and that I would be charged a fee for every attempt.

I told them that I had notified them of the mistake as soon as I got their first email alert (this morning, the payment was made yesterday) and they said too bad but it was an automated system and that they couldn't stop it even if they wanted to and that I would be charged the fees for insufficient funds.

I don't even think I'm the one who left out the decimal point. I have been using the system for a long time and it's never happened before but they refuse to consider that it might have been their mistake and are zeroed in on the over one hundred dollars they intend to collect for what might even have been their own misdeed.

To someone trying to exist of less than $800 a month, $100 skimmed right off the top is devastating. How many other elderly people have made this mistake or worse yet, been caught in a trap of BofA's own making?

All they care about is collecting their fees and sending me 3-5 pieces of junk mail a week trying to sell me 15 different kinds of insurance or get me to accept a subprime predatory credit card.

It's going to cost them a customer of course as I will be closing the account as soon as it's all straightened out and I can be sure they won't be coming after me for something else later, but I seriously doubt they look at little senior citizen accounts like mine as anything significant anyway. I will be going with a local bank that at least pretends to value my business.

One hundred plus dollars (I'm assuming that the fee will be the same as a standard overdraft fee but it may even be more) is almost a month's worth of groceries for someone in my position. It's the co-pays on my cardiac and respiratory system medications. It's gasoline for my car for a month to get my 5 year old grandson the 9 miles to and from Kindergarten every day. It's a hell of a lot of things

But worst of all, they're simply taking money from someone for an honest mistake on their part and then compounding it by not allowing for a correction of the alleged mistake immediately upon discovery, or quite frankly, maybe a not so honest mistake on the bank's part with no chance for any kind of defense or any effort to determine which was actually the case. Either way, Bank of America, the WalMart of the banking industry, is not an institution whose hands the less affluent and the working class in this country need rummaging around in their pockets.

I'd like my hundred bucks back of course but what I'm most interested in is the name of an organization or agency where I might be able to file a legal complaint against BofA.

Tom
Tulare, California
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/07/2007 06:21 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/bank-of-america/internet/bank-of-america-spurious-overdraft-fees-refusal-to-correct-false-information-on-notificat-283600. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author
9Consumer
0Employee/Owner

#9 Author of original report

Thanx again

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, November 19, 2007
Thanks one and all for the suggestions.

I filed a complaint via email with the Federal Office of the Comptroller of Currency, the federal agency that oversees national banks, with a cc: to BofA's customer service and any other email address I could find.

The bank has now dropped the second and third charges and actually reversed the first charge, putting the $35 back in my account, even though I hadn't requested them to do so. However, as a parting shot, they assessed a $35 "returned item" fee against the account, making their little gesture null. In addition, the power company nicked me a $10 fee for having to return the bucks to the bank.

So, I'm out $45 and while I may file a complaint with the state agency just on general principles, it's more likely I'm just going to chalk it up as a learning experience as to where NOT to bank. Thanks again for all the responses.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Here's another thing you should do.

AUTHOR: CoNcErNeD - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, November 19, 2007
Tell them you are going to file a report with the "Chief State Examiner, Dept. of Financial Institutions." This is the California Banking Commission. That should get some results. If you just do a search for that title you will be able to find the appropriate information to be able to file a report.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Here's how to solve the problem

AUTHOR: Stile - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 08, 2007
First off, contact Bank of America's Online Banking department. Let them know you have a "Wrong Amount Posted" situation, which is a Regulation E transaction type. Because this situation would be covered by Reg E if the transaction had posted, the bank is still responsible to cover the OD fees, and you need them refunded right away. If the Online Banker can't assist you, ask to speak to a supervisor, but it really ought to be a straight forward fix.

With regards to the lawsuit over the Social Security accounts, don't bother; the original judgement was based on faulty legal reasoning, and was overturned on appeal.
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#6 Author of original report

Thanks for the comments

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 08, 2007
I'm looking into every suggestion, believe me.

I've done a history search on this company and it turns out that they been sued for just about everything under the sun. One class action they lost involved their confiscation of Social Security and Disability funds to satisfy their lust for these $35 payments for nothing. Since, in addition to even slapping the fees on my account for rather dubious reasons, that is exactly what they're doing to me, I've contacted two law firms including the one that successfully prosecuted that original class action just three years ago.

That's the neat thing about being a grouchy old retiree with a computer, an Internet connection and no life... you can hold out against them for considerably longer than people with more important things to worry about. I think I'm going to make this a fight.

I've already filed a complaint with the Federal Reserve Board and am looking for other departments and agencies that might have jurisdiction or an interest.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Stop Payment Maybe?

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tom, First of all I certainly sympathize with you because of this unfortunate incident. I'm afraid you're fighting a losing battle trying to get the Bandits to EVER admit that they did anything wrong. They are most certainly going to claim that it was you that in fact made the decimal point error that caused the problem.

This is certainly an innocent mistake. I agree with you. Why should you be forced to pay a mininum of $35*3 for a total of $105. Remember I said MINIMUM because it's highly possible that you'll pay additional fees each time this transaction TRIES to post and it causes other smaller transactions to bounce after it.

But this is where customer service comes in. I'm not sure if this is even possible but what about the possibility of a Stop Payment? If this is possible, you'll simply pay the one time stop payment fee, whatever that amount is, but this will accomplish a lot of things. It will prevent this repeated transaction from overdrawing your account multiple times, resulting in multiple overdraft fees and it will also prevent it from jeopardizing other smaller transactions, compounding the problem. This might not be possible, but with GOOD customer service, they should at least understand your mistake and offer some type of REASONABLE solution similar to this.

Finally, if they don't rise to your expectations of handling this with good customer service, then you've already made the right move by closing your account. You're correct that one small account might not be all that important to them. But over time, each one of these SMALL account closings will add up and begin to have an impact. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Good Luck!
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Stop Payment Maybe?

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tom, First of all I certainly sympathize with you because of this unfortunate incident. I'm afraid you're fighting a losing battle trying to get the Bandits to EVER admit that they did anything wrong. They are most certainly going to claim that it was you that in fact made the decimal point error that caused the problem.

This is certainly an innocent mistake. I agree with you. Why should you be forced to pay a mininum of $35*3 for a total of $105. Remember I said MINIMUM because it's highly possible that you'll pay additional fees each time this transaction TRIES to post and it causes other smaller transactions to bounce after it.

But this is where customer service comes in. I'm not sure if this is even possible but what about the possibility of a Stop Payment? If this is possible, you'll simply pay the one time stop payment fee, whatever that amount is, but this will accomplish a lot of things. It will prevent this repeated transaction from overdrawing your account multiple times, resulting in multiple overdraft fees and it will also prevent it from jeopardizing other smaller transactions, compounding the problem. This might not be possible, but with GOOD customer service, they should at least understand your mistake and offer some type of REASONABLE solution similar to this.

Finally, if they don't rise to your expectations of handling this with good customer service, then you've already made the right move by closing your account. You're correct that one small account might not be all that important to them. But over time, each one of these SMALL account closings will add up and begin to have an impact. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Good Luck!
Respond to this report!

#3 Consumer Suggestion

Stop Payment Maybe?

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tom, First of all I certainly sympathize with you because of this unfortunate incident. I'm afraid you're fighting a losing battle trying to get the Bandits to EVER admit that they did anything wrong. They are most certainly going to claim that it was you that in fact made the decimal point error that caused the problem.

This is certainly an innocent mistake. I agree with you. Why should you be forced to pay a mininum of $35*3 for a total of $105. Remember I said MINIMUM because it's highly possible that you'll pay additional fees each time this transaction TRIES to post and it causes other smaller transactions to bounce after it.

But this is where customer service comes in. I'm not sure if this is even possible but what about the possibility of a Stop Payment? If this is possible, you'll simply pay the one time stop payment fee, whatever that amount is, but this will accomplish a lot of things. It will prevent this repeated transaction from overdrawing your account multiple times, resulting in multiple overdraft fees and it will also prevent it from jeopardizing other smaller transactions, compounding the problem. This might not be possible, but with GOOD customer service, they should at least understand your mistake and offer some type of REASONABLE solution similar to this.

Finally, if they don't rise to your expectations of handling this with good customer service, then you've already made the right move by closing your account. You're correct that one small account might not be all that important to them. But over time, each one of these SMALL account closings will add up and begin to have an impact. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Good Luck!
Respond to this report!

#2 Consumer Suggestion

Stop Payment Maybe?

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tom, First of all I certainly sympathize with you because of this unfortunate incident. I'm afraid you're fighting a losing battle trying to get the Bandits to EVER admit that they did anything wrong. They are most certainly going to claim that it was you that in fact made the decimal point error that caused the problem.

This is certainly an innocent mistake. I agree with you. Why should you be forced to pay a mininum of $35*3 for a total of $105. Remember I said MINIMUM because it's highly possible that you'll pay additional fees each time this transaction TRIES to post and it causes other smaller transactions to bounce after it.

But this is where customer service comes in. I'm not sure if this is even possible but what about the possibility of a Stop Payment? If this is possible, you'll simply pay the one time stop payment fee, whatever that amount is, but this will accomplish a lot of things. It will prevent this repeated transaction from overdrawing your account multiple times, resulting in multiple overdraft fees and it will also prevent it from jeopardizing other smaller transactions, compounding the problem. This might not be possible, but with GOOD customer service, they should at least understand your mistake and offer some type of REASONABLE solution similar to this.

Finally, if they don't rise to your expectations of handling this with good customer service, then you've already made the right move by closing your account. You're correct that one small account might not be all that important to them. But over time, each one of these SMALL account closings will add up and begin to have an impact. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Good Luck!
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#1 Consumer Comment

Some suggestions

AUTHOR: Striderq - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, November 08, 2007
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I don't bank with BOA but I have a suggestion that might help you.
In my online billpay system, I can look at a history of the payments that I have scheduled for each company. If BOA's allows you to see the history, you can look to see if you put the decimal point in the right place. If so, print off the page and go to your local branch and speak with the manager. Show him or her the page showing the correct amount authorized by you and the wrong amount processed by the system. The bank that I'm with allows branch personnel to do refunds, I would think BOA is the same. See if the manager will refund the fees to you.
If not, I would suggest calling customer service, asking for a supervisor and then explain the situation to them, telling them you can fax the proof that you put the right amount in to be paid. Get the supervisor's name & number so that you can contact them directly.
Another option may be contacting the online banking customer service if it is different than the regular customer service. They would be trained about online billpays and should be able to see the amount you scheduled for payment, where regular customer service can only see the amount that tried to post.
I hope that one of these help you solve this situation.
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